Middle school application of Holocaust studies : Catholic students adopt survivors : a case study / Michele Marie Periolat Dahl
Includes bibliographical references (p. 230-243)
- External Link
Electronic version from ProQuest
A case study of sixth-grade independent Catholic school students is presented in recognition of the state mandated requirement for Holocaust education in New Jersey and inspired by some of the leaders of the Catholic Church, who have demonstrated possibilities for interfaith study. Through the lens of critical pedagogy study and one who is a religion teacher in a Catholic school, the researcher is interested in the effectiveness of the anti-bias curriculum she assembled. The key component is the Adopt-a-Survivor program, whereby the students "adopted" Holocaust survivors, who made three visits to the students at their school.The study involves thirty-three students, who "adopted" four Jewish survivors. During World War II, the survivors were similar in age to that of the students at the time of the study. The focus of the research was to explore the following 3 questions: (1) How do students in a sixth-grade Catholic school religion class come to understand the experience of the Holocaust? (2) How do students in a sixth-grade Catholic school religion class view their roles as ones who can bear witness? (3) What connections do students in a sixth-grade Catholic school religion class make between the Holocaust and other acts of intolerance?A substantial collection of the students' work was documented in reflection books, which were presented to the survivors.The constant comparative method of analysis, introduced by Yvonna Lincoln and Egon Guba (1985), and interpreted by Pamela Maykut and Richard Morehouse (1994, 2003) is a primary analysis strategy. Using a qualitative approach, data were gathered and analyzed. The core findings are based on the students' written work. Students' intentions are more fully understood when triangulating the data from other sources, including the tiles and triptychs created by the students, their critical incidence questionnaires, and research notes from a student focus group.The impact of the Holocaust survivors' personally speaking to all of the children was reflected in the students' intentions to bear witness and in their thoughtful, transformative language. They demonstrated understanding about the Holocaust. The students gave evidence to connections they made between the Holocaust and other acts of intolerance.
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